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Page last updated at 16:04 GMT, Wednesday, 8 September 2010 17:04 UK

Italy boss Prandelli wary of Northern ireland clash

Cesare Prandelli
Cesare Prandelli expects a hard game in Belfast next month

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli is expecting a tough challenge against Northern Ireland in next month's Euro 2012 qualifier at Windsor Park.

The 2006 World Cup winners top Group C after two wins while N Ireland beat Slovenia 1-0 in their opener.

"Northern Ireland will be a difficult test for us as they almost qualified for major tournaments in recent times," said Prandelli.

"We are feeling good after two wins and we must go to Belfast with confidence."

The Italians followed up their 2-1 victory over Estonia with a 5-0 hammering of the Faroe Island in Florence on Tuesday night.

Alberto Gilardino, Daniele De Rossi, Antonio Cassano, Fabio Quagliarella and captain Andrea Pirlo were on target for the hosts.

Northern Ireland also have a perfect record going into the 8 October showdown, thanks to a Corry Evans strike in Maribor on Friday night.

Italy beat Nigel Worthington's team 3-0 when the sides last met in a friendly in Pisa last year.

Meanwhile, Serbia scored a late equaliser to earn a 1-1 home draw with Slovenia on Tuesday night and they lie second in the group on four points.

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see also
Slovenia 0-1 Northern Ireland
03 Sep 10 |  Irish
NI display superb - Worthington
03 Sep 10 |  Irish
Italy 3-0 Northern Ireland
06 Jun 09 |  Internationals

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